Monday, March 30, 2009

Oh Deer

Sometimes I feel like my life is just some ongoing black comedy. Or maybe it's just that I'm always trying to find humor in everything and some stuff just happens to fall into the macabre, morbid or taboo. In any event, let me get into this by first forwarning those of you with weak constitutions or with a special feelings in your heart for all those fuzzy creatures on the planet to please drop off at this point.

This morning I woke up and looked out my back window, as usual, and saw something rather unusual. What's that in the back part of the yard? No, it can't be...yup...a dead deer of all things. My kids were in the yard last evening, so this doe must have died last night, probably from a car strike. Now my area is not exactly Deer Central like some of my relatives where the deer hang around in herds on their properties, smoke cigarettes and talk trash at the passing cars. I have one set of 8 deer that I see once a year maybe; a mom with a decided limp and her 7 daughters (now probably 2 years old). To show my only hint of decency and sympathy, I hope this deer was one of the 'babies' and not the mom.

Very quickly, the full implications of having a carcass in my backyard became apparent. I made a quick call to my local police station and confirmed that I was responsible for the body: in my yard, my problem. If it were in the road...different story.
"Well can we just drag it out to the curb?" Linda suggested
"Oh yea, and we'll just say it was struck and killed on the cul-de-sac." I said...I'm not draggin' and I'm not lyin'
"Let's drag it over into the neighbor's yard!" Linda snickered. Tempting...but no.
"I'll just call someone to take it away" I said, "What's it gonna cost? 50, 75 bucks [pun intended]?"
Linda, in a rare display of quick wit said "Just as long as we do SOMETHING with Jane Doe".

My mother in law however, was more hard nosed about the situation. "WHAT?!? The town won't take it away?" I said "We'll just call someone, they'll take it away for 50 dollars." She seemed shocked at the price "50 DOLLARS! I don't want to pay $50 to get rid of it!" DAYMN, I thought she thought the price was low. "We can just get rid of it ourselves." she continued, "Cut it up, bag it, you have a chainsaw, don't you? Heck, they do it on SVU all the time. I mean, this is just like being a butcher. We'll just cut it up and get rid of it!"

Luckily, it was time for me to go to work, so I didn't have any more time to discuss. On the long drive, I had thought about what the 'manly men' in my family would do. My dad or my brother-in-law would just have gutted it, hung it up, then taken it to their butcher friend and gotten 20 pounds of meat out of it. But, like, I don't have a sharp knife and let's just say that bambi-burgers wouldn't go over well in my house (let's just call them bambergers for all those and let the pun go completely overboard). The other alternative, my M-I-L in the backyard with chainsaw and a hockey mask, wasn't sitting well either.

I called my wife at lunchtime and found that the situation was getting a little more critical. My wife and my mom-in-law had to take Jason for a scheduled doctor's visit, and they had agreed NOT to talk about it. My MIL had commented to Linda "Don't worry, don't ask me about it, I'll take care of everything." Oh, shit. I have to act quickly. I checked the internet for 'animal removal' and after a somewhat over-detailed website, I called seemingly the only person in the area who does this kind of thing for a quote. "For a deer, I'd have to get the owner to call you back to get you an exact figure, it's not stuck in a fence or something?" she said. After I made one of those droll looks at the camera I said "No, it's in an open space in the backyard, it could be picked up and taken away rather easily." "Well," she continued, "it depends, but the price would be around 350-500 dollars." "Okaaay, thanks, I'll call you back."

Now I'm thinking about being out there with my MIL, with the hacksaw and a white butcher's coat. I'm NOT paying $500 to remove an animal who happened to die in my backyard. Okay, time to weigh the options:

Mom's legs-sticking-out-of-the-garbage-can idea...I just can't do it and I can't have her do it either.

Drag it out to the road behind my house and run like hell at midnight: not pleasant but a viable option at this point.

Last, dig a big hole in the backyard with lime and be done with it: Lotta work but it seems to be the only honest and cheap (and less than morbid) alternative.

So I get home tonight, eat some dinner, get into my sweats and announce the digging will commence in 5 minutes. Of course the older three are all gung ho to get out there. Of course Jason, has to go out the front door and announce to the entire neighborhood (there were 8 pre-teen boys in the cul-de-sac at the time), in his best impression of Vern from Stand By Me said "Hey guys, wanna go see a dead body?" (BTW, did you know that Vern kid was Jerry O'Connell?). It took 10 minutes before the gawking stopped and we could get down to work.

Night falling, only one shovel and one pitchfork (SNAP) there goes the pitchfork. We got about one foot down and called it a night. Me huffing and puffing; Dillan barely breaking a sweat; Jason providing color commentary; Alyson banned 15 minute before that over fighting over the shovel. Just the kind of thing I look forward to when I come home after a long day at work.

Hopefully, this will be the end of the story. We'll spend the next two or three (or four or five) nights getting 3 or 4 feet down and be done with it. I'm not really laughing as much as I was this morning, but dark comedy is supposed to make you think as much as laugh...


abfh said...

LOL. You're more honest than most folks. The last time I found a large dead animal in my backyard, my husband and I put it in the wheelbarrow, dragged it down the street, and dumped it in the woods behind a commercial building.

You're setting a very good example for your family and all the neighborhood kids, so you should give yourself a pat on the back, if it doesn't ache too much from all that digging...

Jeannie said...

I don't envy you, but that was a seriously funny story.

Oh Deer.

I'd go with abfh's wheel barrel in the woods idea.


I didn't get into it but, I had some real fun thoughts of me getting caught dumping 'the body'. The woods, if you can call them that, are rally a two block walk through a seriously normal suburban community, then it's only 5-10 acres surrounded by schools. I could see me getting caught in the headlights of a police cruiser and then wind up in your local 'odd news' internet section. "Man caught running down the highway with deer on his back". I though about trying to throw it out on 'bulk garbage' day and put a lampshade on it, but our garbage guys here are pretty astute.